Bat Fangs, “Bat Fangs”
Bat Fangs is Betsy Wright (of Ex Hex) on guitar/vocals and Laura King (of Flesh Wounds and Speed Stick) on drums. Wright, who plays bass in Ex Hex, found herself restless at the end of extensive touring behind their 2014 album Rips, and ready to revisit the guitar. She e-mailed King demos of what would later become Bat Fangs’ debut. The resulting partnership sounds like it was pulled from your coolest aunt’s record collection in the early ’80s, wedged between Lita Ford and The Knack (your aunt had better things to do than alphabetize her albums).
Bat Fangs is a firecracker of a record, exploding into the sky and dissipating almost as quickly, with nine tracks, all two or three minutes long. It marries hair metal and garage rock, equal parts campy and true. The chords are crunchy, the drums are punchy, and the shredding is righteous. On “Static,” over a riff she borrowed from The Chantays’s “Pipeline,” Wright sings, “Yeah, you know, it’s automatic / When I tune into you, I just get static.” Lead single “Wolfbite” is anchored by the line “You’re like a wolfbite / Yeah, you turn my day to night,” and the album’s excellent second track is perfectly titled “Rock the Reaper.”
The album is a celebration of the music that Wright and King loved as kids. It’s also a showcase of their vast talent and knowledge. You get the feeling they could play this stuff in their sleep; solos and hooks and drum rolls arrive relentlessly, one after the other. Given that the two of them are veterans of other bands, this album feels like it could be a one-time thing. Here’s hoping it isn’t, because Bat Fangs is educational, electric, and a ton of fun.